During Minnesota's COVID-19 epidemic we're worshiping with each other remotely for the time being. We will use guidance from both our Governor and from the Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota to determine the best time to gather in our worship space again.
While we're apart we are sharing an online worship service each Sunday, and we're using ZOOM to keep in touch for evening prayers, Sunday coffee hour, adult education, and even some children's story hours.
Come as you are! Our people come to church dressed in whatever way makes them feel comfortable. That can be casual, or “Sunday best,” and often you will see both sitting right next to each other in the pew in front of you.
We have a parking lot on the northeast corner of Bryant Ave and 46th St (just east of our building), but you may also park along the city streets in our neighborhood. There is a wheelchair ramp on the south side of the building at our 46th St entrance. There is also a reserved parking space at the foot of the ramp. Once inside the door, you’ll find an elevator to the worship level immediately to your left.
Our services will include symbols, smells, and vestments (the outfits priests wear) that are intended to make the experience special and set our worship apart from everyday life. At Sts. Luke & James you can expect that we may worship a bit differently each week.
Although we always follow one of the traditional Episcopal liturgies (more on this below), we present these worship elements in a variety of ways. For example, three or four times a year we worship in near-silence to experience the contemplative traditions in Christian worship. On other Sundays, we may worship with gospel music and a jazz combo, or with classical music and a chamber group. The point is, at Sts. Luke & James we enjoy exploring worship styles while maintaining a focus on the unity of the sacraments.
There are several parts to a typical Sunday morning service and they are put together, much as a play would be, to bring you through an experience. In this case it is the experience of worship in community that we present to God. We use the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer to structure our services. It divides our worship into periods of instruction and readings (Liturgy of the Word), preparation, and the sharing of the Eucharist (Liturgy of the Table). You may follow the progress of the service using the Book of Common Prayer that is provided at each seat, or you may simply follow along in the worship bulletin that will be provided at the entrances of our worship space.
There’s a lot of standing, sitting, kneeling, and bowing in an Episcopal worship service. Don’t worry if you feel confused; people who have been attending an Episcopal Church all their lives often have to look around to see what they are doing at that moment! So do what the people around you are doing—if it is comfortable for you—and enjoy.
Communion How Tos
What if I don’t want to take Communion? All are welcome, including children, to receive Communion. You are free to stay in your seat and watch, but we encourage everyone to come forward. If you prefer not to receive Communion you may ask for a blessing instead. Simply cross your arms over your chest as you approach the Communion station. This will be a signal to the person distributing the bread that you would prefer a blessing.
What if I don’t drink wine? It is fine to take the bread and not the wine. There are many people for whom the wine is not appropriate and they receive Communion without it. It is still a full Communion.
Some people drink and some dip? That’s right. There are many ways to take Communion. With or without wine, by sipping or dipping. There is precedent for all of it. Do what feels comfortable and choose to drink from the shared cup, or dip your bread in the “intinction chalice.”
After the Service
After the service ends, we invite you to stay for a while after we exit the worship space. In our library, across the lobby from the front exit, you will find some free snacks. We encourage you to pause there and have a treat so we can greet you. We hope you’ll decide to return!
Children are an important part of our multigenerational community. We encourage them to be a part of our worship.
There are “quiet bags” and children’s bulletins available at each entrance to the worship space. It is very acceptable for children to keep their hands busy during worship and we try to provide tools that make those moments easier. Allow small children to sit or kneel on the floor and use the pew as a desk if needed.
A special children’s area called the “Pray Ground” is available to children and parents/guardian during worship. It is located in the transept space directly across the piano and choir transept. A rug is situated in this area with the intention that children may want to sit on the floor or even lie down.
Childcare Available For Young Children
If you prefer, we do provide childcare during the 10am worship service. We request that only parents or adult guardians bring young children to the childcare room. Our childcare providers need parents to sign their children in and out of the room. The childcare room is for young children infants up to age 5. Older siblings are asked to stay with their parents in worship. If older youth (12+) would like to help in the childcare room, they are invited to sign up once per month in advance (on the desk just outside of the childcare room) They will need to attend the required training for Childcare Room volunteers. Only one volunteer is permitted to serve each week.
Membership classes are scheduled twice a year, usually in October and May. If you are interested in attending, please contact the office about registration at 612-824-2697 or firstname.lastname@example.org